the bridge to nowhere

In the past I've been critical of the City of Rochester's and the Mayo Clinic's bicycle friendly "improvements". The improvements they've made, and done a lot ot publicize, have not done a single thing to increase my safety or otherwise improve my commute. In fact, they've recently spent $$$$? adding gates to the one bike trail that sort of heads toward my house (and the thousands of other people who live out my way from downtown) such that they can now more effectively CLOSE IT DOWN during the winter. I emailed and called them a few times last year hoping to prevail upon them to plow more of it and it seemed that the answer was to close it completely? I guess I'll be riding on the road this winter once again. Luckily, I am switching back to an evening shift in a couple weeks here and I won't have to deal with the AM rush, unplowed roads, and no legitimate path to work all at once. I'll be heading in to work at 2pm well after the roads are cleared and then leaving at 1:30 am when no matter the conditions I'll only have to share the roads with the occasional drunk in a pickup or red grand prix driving nurse leaving after a 16 hour shift. Enough with that though, one project I've been particularly critical of has been the "bridge to nowhere"...

Turns out I was wrong! Yesterday I worked a 12 hour shift and agreed to meet Laura at Osaka for some Sushi when I got off. That bridge and the associated trail took me ALMOST PERFECTLY NEAR TO OSAKA. This makes perfect sense- where else would the smug, Mayo Employee, Cyclist types want to go via bike but a crappy Japanese chain restaurant that is isolated from anything else? Woot!

In reality I do understand that the bridge allows people in the city center access to the Douglas Trail and many of the newer NW neighborhoods in town. I just think that for what it cost we might have been better served with a whole host of other improvements. It obviously hasn't crossed anyone's mind that someone might want to bike to a grocery store, target, a bike shop, chipotle or basically any other business. Or for that matter to the Mayo Clinic... despite the 6 or 8 bike lanes/paths that head TOWARD downtown not a single one of them really gets it done. We are conveniently left with the busiest last 3 or 4 blocks to navigate with no bike lanes or paths if we should like to make it to the downtown campus.

Here is a map- 88 miles of trail that only goes places on accident. O, ya- my additions suck. I don't even have access to "paint" here.

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